This is an outline to help you prevent viruses, spyware and improve system security. It is by no means 100% fail-proof and there are no guarantees.
- Keep your anti-virus programs current. Consider using 2 anti-virus programs. Make sure they are setup to scan incoming & outgoing email. Remember when a virus gets onto your system the first thing it will try to do is to disable your anti-virus software such as the big-2 (Norton and McAfee). I have used the free versions of AVG and Avast! together with no problem; however, your system may be different. There are no guarantees.
- If you do suspect an email ... consider calling the sender to verify the message.
- Don't be quick to point the blame ... but rather be pro-active with this outline to help prevent the spread of viruses.
- Realize that there are also "hoaxes" and make sure that you do your research on a "suspect message" that is trying to get you to propagate the hoax.
- Keep your Windows Operating System (OS) up-to-date with program fixes - http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
- Change your email software defaults - don't have your email software automatically do a "send & receive" upon start-up, and consider eliminating the preview pane.
- Keep a computer log notebook so you can write down things such as passwords, serial numbers of software, problem tracking, etc...
- Be very careful about your "network shares" - try not to share an entire hard drive on your network but rather try to setup a "shared" folder or directory. Also consider using password protecting the folder.
- If you use a wireless network make sure you change the default settings so people "driving-by" can't hack into your system.
- Consider using firewalls, however, they can be a little tricky to manage.
- Check your system for "spyware" (use a program such as "Spybot SD" to get rid of spyware on your system - remember to keep them up-to-date too!); these programs can be just as bothersome as a virus or worm.
- If you ever have to edit your system's registry - BE Very Careful!
- If you find something useful - consider lettting me know (email the Webmaster via the email link at the bottom of this page) so I can update this outline; thank you!